Hundreds Line Up to See Sarah Palin on Day Two of Book Tour

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, Sarah Palin's fans starting lining up Wednesday evening.

ByKate Snow
November 19, 2009, 8:15 AM

FT. WAYNE, Ind., Nov. 19, 2009— -- Judging from the crowd lining up to see Sarah Palin in Fort Wayne, Ind., this morning, one wouldn't be able to tell that the former GOP vice presidential candidate lost a political race here.

At a Meijer superstore in the town this morning, a line of people snaked through the Christmas aisles and out into the garden center.

At 10 a.m., the store gave out 1,000 wristbands to people who were allowed to purchase up to two copies of Palin's new memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life," and then have it signed by the former Alaska governor, who came to the book signing at noon.

If Wednesday night's book signing in Grand Rapids, Mich., is the model, Palin spent about five seconds with each customer.

Watch Barbara Walters' interview with Sarah Palin Friday, Nov. 20 at 10 p.m. ET on "20/20".

Debbie Coning of Portage, Mich., hadn't slept a wink. She arrived at the Meijer store at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon to claim the first spot in line. She had driven all the way to Grand Rapids on Wednesday, only to be turned away because she got there too late. So she jumped in her car and drove another three hours to Fort Wayne.

"We worked real hard on the campaign. But the first time hearing Sarah I knew and my husband knew this is what our country needs," Coning told ABC News. "She's speaking from the heart and she is the one that potentially I really believe can bring our country back."

"We just want to thank Sarah," Coning said.

Just before 7 a.m. this morning, Coning and the woman who stood in the second spot in line, Marie Garver, spotted a serviceman in the crowd. They insisted he come up and take the first spot in line.

Army Specialist Karl Mavis, 21, returned from duty in Iraq in August. Mavis is shy and didn't want a lot of attention but he said he agrees with Palin's economic policies.

Another couple further back in line, Stan and Sandy Hauck, said they changed their Thanksgiving travel plans to get to Indiana sooner from their home in Tampa, Fla., -- just so they could meet Palin today.

Palin was in Grand Rapids until after 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Her giant tour bus, emblazoned with an enormous photo of Palin and her giant signature, traveled a rainy highway from Grand Rapids to Fort Wayne late last night. The former governor's aides kept her whereabouts overnight a secret.

So far, the media is being tightly controlled on Palin's book tour. Cameras and journalists have been allowed to view the book signings for just a few minutes before being escorted away.

On Wednesday night, Palin did make brief comments to an overflow crowd outside the Barnes and Noble store in Grand Rapids. She thanked people for coming and urged them to buy her book to find the "unfiltered" version of her story.

A spokeswoman for Harper Collins, Palin's publisher, says book sales have been so strong that they've had to run more printings -- 1.8 million copies of "Going Rogue" had been produced as of late Wednesday.

The first two stops on Palin's book tour -- Michigan and Indiana -- are battle ground states that didn't go to Palin and her running mate, Sen. John McCain, when they were fighting for votes last year. But now it's all about dollars, and the former Alaska governor has attracted hundreds of people at the book signings there.

For three hours Wednesday night, Palin signed copy after copy of her new book. People waited for hours in line to get a glimpse of the former vice presidential candidate.

Holding steady at the front of the ticketed line, hopped up on Red Bull, were 19-year-olds Nichole Perrine and Laura Lomik, along with Lucy Vigmostad, who turned 18 on Wednesday.

"I like that she sticks to it and doesn't let the media tell her that she's a moron because she's a conservative," Vigmostad told ABC News. "Doesn't let anybody tell her anything."

Vigmostad was too young to vote in last year's election, but she volunteered for the McCain-Palin campaign. All three young women view Palin as a role model.

"I just love her personality. She sticks to what she says. She's very down to earth. She can handle all politics, all the media, all the press and still be able to raise her five kids," said Perrine.

While Palin may be talking to her fans, ABC News has learned that she hasn't spoken to her running mate, McCain, since the election.

As Palin recalls in her book, the McCain campaign gave up on winning Michigan and withdrew its resources here in October 2008. Palin says she was accused of "going rogue" by McCain staffers when she told reporters she thought the campaign ought to still be fighting for Michigan's electoral votes.

On Wednesday, in an interview with Reuters, the Arizona senator defended his former aides who Palin criticizes in her book.

"I think it's just time to move on," McCain said.

Many readers say they are more intrigued by details of Palin's upbringing than campaign infighting and thrilled to meet a celebrity politician.

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